3 JANUARY 1936, Page 5


AS result of the debate in the French Chamber during last week-end relations between this country and France are more satisfactory than they have been for some time. M. Laval had a hard fight, and after the speech of the influential Right Centre leader, M. Reynaud, it looked as if his Government was doomed. It was saved in the end partly by the ability of the Premier's defence, but quite as much by his sensible shifting of position away from Rome and towards Geneva. To do Signor Mussolini justice, it may be recognised that he contributed substanti- ally to this by the defiant speech he had made a few days previously at Pontinia, and his neglect to show any ap- preciation of the Peace Plan prepared for his benefit. Since then he has made his position clearer still by declar- ing to the Fascist Grand Council that the plan was very far from satisfying the requirements of Italy.